New Mexico governor warns of debt ceiling peril for states

For now, though, Lujan Grisham said the threat of fiscal chaos in Washington is a problem for the effort to stand up a clean energy economy.

“You have to have predictability with all of your partners, stakeholders, advocates, businesses,” she said. “You can’t move the needle on any event where the full state and credit and consistency of the United States is on the line.”

The governor blamed “narrow-mindedness” in Congress for making life worse for families and imperiling climate change investments.

“These are separate issues,” she said of policy priorities that Republicans are trying to push in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling. “To try to hold hostage or call it a negotiation is really nothing more than not moving on the appropriations work that Congress is elected to do on behalf of the American people.”

On an issue closer to home, Lujan Grisham defended her recent line item vetoes of several climate items in New Mexico’s budget package, including tax credits for electric vehicles, geothermal and energy storage and rebates for heat pumps.

“These were important, but way too small,” she said, arguing that the money would be better directed toward larger, more ambitious projects.

“They don’t move the needle — sometimes when you get something, you don’t get a second bite at it, and I had to do something different,” Lujan Grisham said.